You Can’t Just Read The Bible

A layperson can read the Scriptures and understand the Scriptures. It is important to keep saying that. There is no esoteric guild of specialist priests who impose a certain kind of interpretation on the conscience of believers. And even in practical experience you sometimes see that, don’t you? Occasionally you’ll find an old woman or man who is semi-literate, and yet such people may have read their Bibles through again and again. Although they can’t self-consciously make all the correlations a sophisticated systematics can make, nevertheless, they have a kind of nose for error and heresy. Somebody comes along with some screwball idea, and they can immediately say about forty verses that make them question something or other.

You want to say even at a practical level, I want people to read and reread their Bibles. God himself says, “This is the one to whom I will look: he who is of a contrite spirit and who trembles at my word.” So, it really is important to say that before you start putting in footnotes about the importance of presuppositions and structures and all the rest.

We All Have Presuppositions – Good or Bad

But the converse danger of thinking you can do it all yourself from scratch is no less pernicious, and maybe more so. Take an analogy from science: no scientist has to start proving the existence of molecules every time he or she begins an experiment in chemistry. There are all kinds of givens based on what has already been thought through, discovered, or demonstrated before; but every once in a while, one of the scientific theories gets overturned because of new evidence. Nevertheless, any scientist brings an awful lot of presupposition to the next round of experimentation or the like.

There is more: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/you-cant-just-read-the-bible

Advertisements

You Can’t Just Read The Bible

https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/you-cant-just-read-the-bible

10 Apostolic Prayers For The People Of God

The Apostle Paul showed his love for people in many ways. His letters are full of teaching, correction, and even commands. But perhaps we too easily miss one of the threads running throughout his ministry, namely, how often he encouraged people with the specific prayers he regularly offered on their behalf.

D.A. Carson draws out several themes of Paul’s prayers in his excellent, A Call to Spiritual Reformation, Priorities from Paul and His Prayers. In it, Carson challenges readers to seek “to find out exactly what it is he asks God for on their [the people he prays for] behalf, and compare the results with what we normally ask for.”

1. Paul thanked God for each one of his people.

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you …” (Romans 1:8-10)

“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus …” (1 Corinthians 1:4)

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers …” (Ephesians 1:16)

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy …” (Philippians 1:3-4)

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you …” (Colossians 1:3)

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers …” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3a)

“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right …” (2 Thessalonians 1:3)

“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.” (2 Timothy 1:3)

“I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers …” (Philemon 1:4)

2. Paul prayed for wisdom and knowledge.

“… that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him …” (Ephesians 1:17)

“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding …” (Colossians 1:9)

3. Paul prayed for hope.

Read more at: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/10-apostolic-prayers-for-the-people-of-god

Why God Demands Worship

hands-raised-worship_480_270_s_c1

Don Carson:

I have been doing university missions off and on for about thirty-five years. About a dozen years ago, I started stumbling across a question from university undergraduates that I never received when I was a young man. This relatively recent question is put variously, but it generally runs something like this: “Amongst human beings, anyone who wants to have all of the attention and garner all the praise, anyone who wants to be the focus of everyone’s constant admiration, with everyone stroking that person and fawning all over him, would be thought of as massively egocentric. The God you are trying to push on us looks to me to be very egocentric. He keeps demanding that we praise Him all the time. For goodness sake, is He insecure? Isn’t He, at very least, morally defective?

What do you say to that? The reason I never heard that sort of question in the past, I suspect, is because until fairly recently most of the unconverted people I met in university missions had been brought up in the Judeo-Christian heritage, which held that there is a sovereign, transcendent God, and that He is unique and deserves special attention. But now things have changed. Thirty years ago, if I were dealing with an atheist, at least he or she was a “Christian atheist.” That is, the God he or she disbelieved in was the Christian God, which is another way of saying that the categories were on my turf. But I can’t assume that now.

So it’s difficult to respond. Of course it’s true to say something like this: “Yes, but God is so much more than we are. He’s not just another human being, slightly ‘souped-up.’ He is God. He is the Creator. He is to be cherished and revered. He is our Maker and our Sovereign and our providential King and our Judge.” All of that is true.

But there is more. It is one of the themes John Piper likes to preach about. It is this: Because we have been made by this God and for this God, because our very self-identity when we are right with God is to love Him supremely, to adore Him and to worship Him, it is a supreme act of love on His part to keep demanding it—because it is for our good. What conceivable good would it do for us if God were to say: “Don’t give Me too much worship. I’m just One of you guys. Slightly ratchet it up maybe, but don’t focus on Me too much.” That might satisfy some idolater’s notion of humility, but the humility that I see in this King of kings is on Golgotha. That He keeps directing attention to Himself is an act of supreme humility and grace, precisely because He stoops to remind us of what we ought to recognize, and because it is for our good.

There is no insecurity in this God. After all, He is the God of aseity. He has no needs. In eternity past, the Father loved the Son, the Son loved the Father, and They were perfectly content. God is not demanding that we love Him so that we can meet the needs of His psychological profile this week. His focus on Himself is not only because He is God, but because, out of love, that is what we need. That is what we must see. That is the point to which our adoration must come. If it does not, we wallow in idolatry again and again and again.

Comment at: https://pjcockrell.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/why-god-demands-worship/

Why God Demands Worship

Don Carson:

I have been doing university missions off and on for about thirty-five years. About a dozen years ago, I started stumbling across a question from university undergraduates that I never received when I was a young man. This relatively recent question is put variously, but it generally runs something like this: “Amongst human beings, anyone who wants to have all of the attention and garner all the praise, anyone who wants to be the focus of everyone’s constant admiration, with everyone stroking that person and fawning all over him, would be thought of as massively egocentric. The God you are trying to push on us looks to me to be very egocentric. He keeps demanding that we praise Him all the time. For goodness sake, is He insecure? Isn’t He, at very least, morally defective?

What do you say to that? The reason I never heard that sort of question in the past, I suspect, is because until fairly recently most of the unconverted people I met in university missions had been brought up in the Judeo-Christian heritage, which held that there is a sovereign, transcendent God, and that He is unique and deserves special attention. But now things have changed. Thirty years ago, if I were dealing with an atheist, at least he or she was a “Christian atheist.” That is, the God he or she disbelieved in was the Christian God, which is another way of saying that the categories were on my turf. But I can’t assume that now.

So it’s difficult to respond. Of course it’s true to say something like this: “Yes, but God is so much more than we are. He’s not just another human being, slightly ‘souped-up.’ He is God. He is the Creator. He is to be cherished and revered. He is our Maker and our Sovereign and our providential King and our Judge.” All of that is true.

But there is more. It is one of the themes John Piper likes to preach about. It is this: Because we have been made by this God and for this God, because our very self-identity when we are right with God is to love Him supremely, to adore Him and to worship Him, it is a supreme act of love on His part to keep demanding it—because it is for our good. What conceivable good would it do for us if God were to say: “Don’t give Me too much worship. I’m just One of you guys. Slightly ratchet it up maybe, but don’t focus on Me too much.” That might satisfy some idolater’s notion of humility, but the humility that I see in this King of kings is on Golgotha. That He keeps directing attention to Himself is an act of supreme humility and grace, precisely because He stoops to remind us of what we ought to recognize, and because it is for our good.

There is no insecurity in this God. After all, He is the God of aseity. He has no needs. In eternity past, the Father loved the Son, the Son loved the Father, and They were perfectly content. God is not demanding that we love Him so that we can meet the needs of His psychological profile this week. His focus on Himself is not only because He is God, but because, out of love, that is what we need. That is what we must see. That is the point to which our adoration must come. If it does not, we wallow in idolatry again and again and again.

Comment at: https://pjcockrell.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/why-god-demands-worship/

Study theology

Thnkng Xn

Sin’s horror

sins-horror